The pandemic has made in-house-vertebrates out of the lot of us, and there are very few chances of discovering something new when we are all stuck at home. I, however, did and the results were astonishing.
It was another late night binge on a platter of websites and apps in front of me, jumping out of one to jump into another. I wanted to be more proactive with my time-wasting so I decided to have a good old jump down the rabbit hole.
After three hours each on Wikipedia (starting with unicorns and ending with the Russian ship Kommuna) and Facebook (looking at my profile itself), I decided to go into Youtube. Immediately, I found this:
What the hell was this. Another one of those lonely creations that sometimes get viral and then die down? A weird fantasy of a person who was clearly dealing with the pandemic in the absolute right way? What was I watching? I decided to dig around and saw that no, this is definitely not a one-time thing. The phenomena I had accidentally stumbled across (which only had 5 videos at the time of my discovery) had blown up incredibly.
It is now hilariously called “Bardcore” or “Tavernwave” and is a most interesting thing. It is a rosetta stone of our generation, if we ever needed to have one. One can decipher many aspects of 2020 Gen Z lifestyle from a single medieval cover video.
It started off as a medieval style cover of the phenomenal ancient meme “Coffin Dance” and its theme song ‘Astronomia’. It then linked it to a style of music prevalent in the times when humanity once was also dealing with a worldwide pandemic: the Bubonic Plague. And then it went on to parody hilariously existential songs that make us truly fear for the future end of the world, or if you’re a millennial or Gen Z, await it tremendously. The mantle of Cornelius the innovator was taken up later by Hildegard von Blingin’, a modern edition of 12th Century German composer and mystic Hildegard von Bingen. She added a lyrical and flair to the covers with zany medieval language lyric versions and her own medieval singing style, and made the phenomena 100% better.
My favourite takeaway from this is how we as an entire generation have not let this era-defining event let it define ourselves. Wherever we may be, our activities don’t stop, our activism doesn’t stop, our fights never change and our morale never wanes. The hallmarks that this generation will be remembered by are its courage and bravery to stand up against the most brutal, insincere, and lecherous people in power and force action on them, if not remove their legacies as being positive contributions to this Humanity of ours. How does this all tie into Bardcore? Well, every revolution needs a soundtrack.
Hildegard von Blingin’: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ_jwWjf8u5mdtac71Be8QA
Cornelius Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtABl8Nh40_duYywblorlng
Partial information taken from: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/24/never-mind-the-ballads-how-bardcore-took-over-pop-music